Women represent half of humanity, but they have been greatly underrepresented in studies of past cultures and societies. This course provides an introduction to aspects of women’s lives in the cultures of ancient Mediterranean Greece and Rome. We will examine not only what women actually did and did not do in these societies, but also how they were perceived by their male contemporaries and what value to society they were believed to have. The course will focus on how women are reflected in the material and visual cultures, but it will incorporate historical and literary evidence as well. Through such a comparative and interdisciplinary approach, we will examine the complexities and ambiguities of women’s lives in the ancient Mediterranean and begin to understand the roots of modern conceptions and perceptions of women in the Western world today.